Razor: ALE 9/8″
Brush: Simms Best Badger
Soap: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Black Bot
Aftershave: Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Black Bot
Other: Leeming Black Belt Cologne, Thirsty Badger lather bowl

Cool and overcast today, a perfect day for some epic vintage musk.  This offering from Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements is my favourite scent from them and one of the tops in my den.  It isn’t for everyone but it certainly is for me.  Black Belt is an homage to vintage Leeming Black Belt cologne from 1968.  This is a cousin to Hai Karate but I can say this kicks Hai Karate’s ass.    Scent notes on this are Bergamot, Lavender, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Cedar, Tonka Bean, Musk.  As you can see from the photo I was lucky enough to acquire a vintage Black Belt cologne and I can say that Doug has done a bang up job replicating this scent.  I’ve always said the best scents conjure up a memory and this has that in spades.

The soap base itself is in the original crown king formula.  Personally I prefer this over the CK6.  Both are vegan and both are easy to lather.  They can take a lot of water and both perform quite well.  The Simms brush I’m using today I typically have issues with lather builds but not with this formula, I had a bowl full of rich lather in no time.    My knock on the CK6 isn’t in the performance but rather the stubborn soap film it leaves behind when cleaning, something I have no issues with in this original CK formula, or most other soaps.  Slickness was no issue as the ALE made quick work of the shave.

I followed up with the matching splash.  I love the scent but I’m not a fan of this formulation.  Alcohol and alum.  LOTS of burn here.  I may re-buy this in their new splash formulation minus the alum as that burn just isn’t for me.  Luckily I had an unscented balm (Highland Springs Silence, not pictured) nearby to calm the face after the splash.  I wrapped up the shave kicking the scent into high gear with the original Black Belt cologne.  As I said, Doug did a great job with the scent and his strength on it can pass as a cologne but the additional of the original definitely adds a couple hours to the performance.  And how can I not run this for a few more hours?

All for now folks – J

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